I first met Debbie in college (Shaw U!) when we were trying to get an education and find ourselves. I didn't know it then, but she would become a huge inspiration to me through her books and testimony on so many levels. Life hasn't always been roses for her, but she is a true warrior and woman of God. What I love best about her is that she is truly authentic and open with her own experiences because if there is even a slight chance of helping and healing just one soul, she is an open book and listening ear. 'Transforming with Transparency' is her signature tagline and you are about to find out why.
I was born and raised in Atlanta and now live on the outskirts of the city lol. I have a younger brother and two children. Psychology has always been a fascination of mine. My upbringing made me curious about why people are the way they are and what made them do the things they do. Originally, I wanted to become a psychologist but when I entered the masters program for it I realized it was not the way I wanted to help people and got a degree in something else. I have worked in psychiatric facilities, community support, psychological testing and other areas of the mental health field. I always knew I was supposed to write but I did not see myself as an author so I ran from it. It was not until 2016 that I finally accepted my call to write. From there my first book Residue was born and I have been writing since.
2. What were the best & hardest parts of starting your business/platform, both personally and professionally?
The hardest parts were giving up fear and the idea that I wasn't qualified. I was afraid of perception, that I wasn't enough in comparison to other authors, and letting go of the life I had planned in my mind for the one God has for me. The best parts are knowing that I am blessing and inspiring others to go after their healing, take the leap on their calling, and showing people that you can get past your circumstances and create a good life.
3. What did you learn about yourself and your support system during this time?
I learned that areas that I thought were resolved emotionally still needed maintenance work and that healing is an ongoing process. I have learned to manage fear by trusting God completely and move forward even if I am afraid. Additionally, I have accepted my resilience, meaning I am grateful that I am able to bounce back from any situation. I used to get upset that I had to go through things but now I realize those experiences aren't even about me and are used to bless others. My support system is solid. I am so grateful for them because without them the journey would have been much more difficult. I surround myself with faith-filled, praying individuals who hold me accountable as I do the same for them.
4. How do you think you have influenced and impacted others the most through your work? Through your writing?
I think as a whole I think I have impacted others the most because of my transparency. I am not some guru trying to tell you how to live and painting this beautiful picture. Instead, I openly share where I am and have been and how I overcame it. That transparency disarms people and encourages them to take a look at their own lives and take the steps to being better and not remaining stuck in the same toxic patterns.
5. Tell me about what prompted you to write your first book, Residue: Surviving and Overcoming the Stains of Generational Curses and Soul Ties?
I experienced a lot growing up within my family. Those negative experiences really shaped my personality and once I became an adult I had a lot of issues and couldn't pinpoint why. Going through the process of getting to the root of the hurt and toxic behaviors I had led me back to my childhood. God told me when I was 18 I would write about generational curses but I ignored Him. 8 years later I started writing about it and could trace certain behaviors back in my family and that process of writing helped mend my mother and I's relationship. It also helped her heal as well, that was a major blessing! The process of writing this book helped free my mom. The soul ties just came up since I had a severe soul tie in college. Since these are both spiritual issues they naturally came together. God just told me what to write and it all came together. The purpose of this book is to show people that if they are willing to do the work, they can determine why they are the way they are, break free from the negative cycle and heal.
6. How have your relationships and overall life changed since writing your first book? How have you changed? What type of feedback have you received?
I am definitely confident in being an author now. Even when Residue was released, I still didn't own being an author. Now I embrace it completely. I have definitely matured emotionally and spiritually. Peace is a priority in my life. I have still had other things come up that needed to be addressed but I feel because of the first book it has made me very self-aware. That awareness helps me nip things in the bud quicker. Overall, people have you enjoyed the book and said that it brought a lot to their attention. For example, several people have told me after reading my book that things they considered normal in their families were actually toxic patterns. I have some people who have my book but have not read it because they say they aren't ready to start the process yet because it can bring up heavy deep rooted stuff.
7. You and the wonderfully motivating Dr. Eve Hudson launched a tour last year. Tell me about that experience.
People kept saying I needed to do a book tour and I didn't really want to. My sister called pushing the issue so I started giving it real thought. I was thinking it would be the Healing Tour but it didn't feel right.Then a friend of mine mentioned one day "you need to collaborate with women." I immediately thought of Eve. I called and propositioned her and she was all in. From there, The Purpose and Healing Tour was born. We had no clue what we were doing and did everything ourselves from scratch. We had people who supported our vision and joined us for the ride. A very powerful experience. My primary lesson in doing this tour is that you can truly do whatever you want especially if God put it on your heart to do so. He will provide the resources, people, ideas, and everything else you need but it is up to you to take the first steps and trust Him and do what He is telling you to do. She and I are not done though. Since we have the experience of this tri-city tour, we are going to bring something even bigger and better to the table...stay tuned!
8. In May, you released your second book, Your Facade is Showing: A Divorcees Perspective on Accepting Relationship Red Flags the First Time. Tell me how this book came about.
God gave me the title to this book before I finished my last one. He stopped me in the middle of me writing and said "write down Your Facade is Showing." I was like why are you giving me another book title when I haven't finished the one I am doing? Well, a year later my marriage abruptly came to an end. As I was trying to process God then told me that Your Facade is Showing would be a book about relationships. I was not happy about that because I do not like discussing my relationships and feel they should be private. However, God told me to write. Writing this book was very helpful to my healing process and it is even more raw and transparent the last one.
9. Describe the current mental health culture especially in the black community and how you hope to help shape its future.
Our generation is slowly moving away from solely praying about or overlooking things to actually taking action. Therapy is so important but many of us were raised to believe that counseling made you weak, you should keep quiet about what you have going on to preserve an image, or just pray and that's it. God has given mental health professionals the gifts to help others heal. Mental health and self care are very important.Counseling does not mean that you are crazy, it means you care about yourself enough to be well. I hope to continue to help break the stigma by being open and honest about my experiences (via books, features, programs, etc.) and showing others through my example that healing is important. So many generational curses would be broken if everyone committed to self care.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What is your professional mission?
I see myself as full time entrepreneur and advocate for healing. At this point, my mission is to simply be the vessel to what God wants to do with my brand. I am completely out of the driver's seat and letting Him show me what to do. All I do, is to bring attention to His light through my actions so that others will be drawn to Him as well. Just a few weeks ago He told me to get rid of the plans I had for myself and just follow Him...that is exactly what I am doing now.
11. What advice do you have for anyone looking to write a book?
Stop procrastinating lol. People ask me this all the time and more times than not, they all say the same things..."I know I am supposed to write but I don't know where to start, I don't have time, etc.." I ran away too but getting started and committing is what's important. Just write freely, don't worry about structure, a title, or anything else. Just let everything flow from you. If you have writers block step back or sleep on it then get back to it. For my first book, I carried a notebook with me everywhere and every time something would come to mind I didn't delay and wrote right then. I also used my phone, voice text, and my computer to change up mediums. Since I realize this is a need, I am developing a workshop for nonfiction authors which will be out soon!
12. What advice do you have for divorcees?
You still have a life to live and everything doesn't stop here. The process of divorce can be grueling and it makes you feel like there is nothing more to live for. Don't beat yourself either, it won't do anything but leave you paralyzed. Take your time, heal, seek counseling (I personally had to), re-discover who you are independently, and when you are ready get back out there. Surround yourself with positive people who allow you to breakdown but also keep you moving ahead in your healing journey.
13. Who are your biggest influencers, motivators or mentors?
I have a few people that I really look up to...this list will be funny but it's honest. Oprah (of course), Beyonce (I love how she is using her platform now to promote being proud of being black), Cardi B (she is so authentic and has built her brand being who she is...classic rags to riches), Ciara (she has shown that you can make mistakes, date an idiot, make the changes necessary, and receive the blessings you were always meant for), and lastly, Lisa Nichols (she is personal development powerhouse...period).
14. Tell me about your most recent business or personal win.
My most recent win on all fronts is making the decision to stop trying to control everything and allowing God to order my steps. This is way less stressful because I know now that everything I am doing His hand is on it so I do the work and let Him guide me, can't go wrong that way.
Debbie L. London was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the years, Debbie has consistently maintained an innate passion to help others, with a specific focus on spiritual and emotional healing. Transforming with Transparency is her tagline because she helps others through being open and honest about her own experiences. She is the author of the self-help book, Residue: Surviving and Overcoming the Stains of Generational Curses and Soul Ties. Her second book is Your Facade is Showing: A Divorcees Perspective on Accepting Relationship Red Flags the First Time!
New book, Your Facade is Showing: https://amzn.to/2L9a9r3